Cam Ward is hanging up the pads.
After 14 NHL seasons, Ward announced his retirement Wednesday.
To finish his career, the 35-year-old netminder signed a one-day deal with the Carolina Hurricanes. He played 13 of his 14 years with Carolina, winning a Stanley Cup with the team in 2006, and also had a memorable impact on the Raleigh community.
“Cam was a cornerstone for this organization for more than a decade,” general manager Don Waddell said in a news release. “From his ‘Cam’s Champs’ program to his efforts with the Hurricanes Foundation and the time spent teaching at our hockey camps, he had a tremendous impact on the community. We’re proud that he has chosen to retire with the Carolina Hurricanes.”
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Ward, who was taken 25th overall by the Hurricanes in the 2002 NHL draft, goes down as one of the best goaltenders in Hurricanes history. He is the franchise leader in regular-season games played (668), winning percentage (.557), shutouts (27) and saves (17,261), as well as goals (1), assists (11) and points (12).
It was in 2006, though, that he made his name known. The rookie took over the crease in the playoffs, finishing first with 15 playoff wins and second with a 2.14 GAA en route to the Hurricanes’ first Stanley Cup title. Ward’s performance in net earned him the Conn Smythe, making him the fourth rookie netminder in NHL history to win the award.
He also set single-season franchise records in the 2008-09 campaign, having posted six shutouts, 39 wins, a nine-game winning streak and a 57-save performance in a game against the New York Islanders. He was named an All-Star in 2011, and in 2017, he became the 32nd goaltender in NHL history to win 300 games. His 334 wins ranks 23rd among all NHL goalies. In 2009 and 2011, he finished seventh in Vezina voting.
“It was an honor and a privilege to wear the Hurricanes jersey for 13 years,” Ward said in a statement. “Throughout it all, what stayed clear to me was my love for this organization, this city and this fan base. It is why my family and I call Raleigh home and will continue to call it home. I appreciate all of the support the fans gave me throughout the highs and lows. I thank you.”
Most recently, Ward played 33 games with the Blackhawks in 2018-19, going 16-12-4 and boasting a .897 save percentage and 3.67 GAA.
In 701 career games, Ward went 334-256-88 with a 2.74 GAA and .908 save percentage.
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